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Honda Odyssey briefly wouldn't start but everything else working

Hi folks. First time I have been on this community. I didn’t find the problem I have, but I was impressed with the responses so I decided to register and talk to the community directly.

I just purchased a used 2012 Honda Odyssey with 88k miles. After not driving it for two days I went out and tried to start it. The powered side doors were working just fine, and all the gauges and indicators seemed to be fine and the power locks worked, but it did not start. There was no noise at all. It was as if the car didn’t realize I had turned the ignition. I tried a few times, waited for a few seconds, tried again, and the car started like there had never been a problem. When it started, it wasn’t weak. It started like new. The problem sounds a lot like what happened to @Thrifty in this thread (Car won’t start, headlights, power windows and doors work, no noise from engine), except that it then started for me.

We have been driving the car for less than a week, and as mentioned, I didn’t drive it at all for two days, but it has had no problem starting any other time. Please let me know what you think.


The next time this happens, with the ignition switch on, step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts, the problem is with the transmission range switch.


Thanks for your help @Tester. I tried pumping the brake and shifting, but I don’t remember if when it started it was in neutral or park. Unfortunately, today is the last day of our 7 day warranty from the used car dealership, so I don’t have much time to wait for the problem to occur again. Other than the transmission range switch, is there anything else you can think of that it could be?

stop by an auto parts store that does a free battery test, could be just a bad battery.

Here’s some possibilities, in order of most likely to least likely

  • Faulty anti-theft device (if it has this function installed)
  • Transmission safety switch (if auto), or clutch safety switch (if manual)
  • Loose or corroded connectors on the battery posts
  • Faulty battery
  • Faulty ignition switch
  • Faulty starter motor

Thanks everyone for you help. I wanted to close the loop for anyone else who may be searching on a similar problem.

The car began to have more problems starting. When I tried to start the car, the dials would blink but nothing would happen.

When I took the car in to a shop the battery tested bad. The dealership I bought the car from agreed to replace the battery.

I haven’t had a problem since. We will see if that solved the issue.

Thanks again.

Glad you are back on the road with a reliable cranker. Good for you!